Over half of global cardiovascular deaths happen in Asia

global cardiovascular deaths, IHD
© Kukotaekaterina

Over half of global cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in 2019 happened in Asia – now, scientists are drawing attention to rapidly climbing figures, as heart issues continue to be a risk factor for severe COVID

Scientists say that there must be a specific, localised set of interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease in Asian populations across the continent. According to data, the rates of CVD death in Asian countries went from 23% to 25% in the space of 29 years. This increase in deaths rose for both men and women, with no data available on non-binary disease risks.

Most deaths happened via ischemic heart disease (IHD) or stroke.

‘Timely information’ is essential, says lead author

Dong Zhao, MD, PhD, professor of preventive cardiology at the Beijing Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood Vessel Diseases at Beijing Anzhen Hospital, Capital Medical University, said: “Timely information on the burdens and epidemiological features of CVD in Asian countries is crucial to understanding the challenges and orienting the development of reasonable policies strategies and actions to combat the CVD epidemic.”

In a separate study, researchers proposed that genetic ancestry played a strong role in risk of type 2 diabetes in the UK – alongside socioeconomic deprivation. They suggested that biology was used to create nuanced interventions, to lower levels of diabetes across ethnic minority populations.

The numbers gathered in this heart study suggest that cardiovascular disease will be an increasingly heavy burden, with more hospitalisation and death ahead. Maybe it is time for a similarly localised intervention for populations at high risk of CVD death.

Strong differences in type of death

IHD was the most dominant cause of deaths in Central, Western and Southern Asia. On the other hand, deaths from stroke were more common than IHD deaths in Eastern and South-eastern Asia.

In China, the dominant subtype of cardiovascular deaths changed from stroke to IHD. When it comes to these striking differences, the authors are without an answer. They suggest that cause and disease are still not well enough understood across the continent.

Professor Zhao further said: “It is critical to recognize the characteristics of different transition stages of the CVD epidemic in different Asian countries in order to guide the identification of priority issues in public health, resource allocation and research in these countries.”

Read the full study here.


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